How to Earn Respect at Work? 7 Things You Can Learn From the Most Respected People

Respect at Work

As soon as you cross over to your office, your manager calls you in for a one on one meeting. Unfortunately, the meeting does not pan out all too well. You come out of the conference room feeling down in the dumps, only to face the disparaging gazes of your co-workers and covert exchanges that you try to ignore on your way back to your workstation. Does the scenario ring a bell? Do you often find yourself wondering why the same people who disrespect you, hold your co-workers in veneration? What do they do differently from you? How does their very aura command respect without seeming condescending or bossy? Here are seven things that you can learn from the most respected people and how to earn respect at work

7 Ways To Earn Respect At Work

1. When somebody has something to Say, Lend Your Ears

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”– Bryant H. McGill

When you devote your time to listening to someone and letting them pour their hearts out, they start to think that you value them and strive to reciprocate the respect. Listen to what they are saying and try to provide them with sincere answers and nuggets of advice. Avoid cutting them off mid-sentence and let the speaker continue on with their monologue until you actually feel the need to pipe in.

Think before you speak, as anything you say can trigger the thought processes of the listener and may have far-reaching repercussions on them. Akin to an interviewer who shoots the next question only after you are done answering the previous one, you should weigh your words before you speak them out.

2. You Reap What You Sow

“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.”– R.G. Risch

If you treat others harshly and belittle their contributions, they won’t be very inclined to take their hats off to you exactly. If you interrupt others during conversions, highlight their shortcomings in front of others in a belittling manner, or talk deleteriously behind their backs, not only will it leave a bad taste in their mouth but also make them view you in a demonizing light.

This leads to workplace conflicts and paves the way for animosity. Additionally, they might get vengeful and look for ways to bring you down any chance that they get. Instead, you should treat everyone with respect even if you do not agree with them. This will help you earn respect at work from others. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and views, and it’s not your job to judge them.

3. Defuse Anger

You wake up in the morning, your car breaks down, your morning coffee gets cold, you get into a heated debate with your wife, your pup makes your office shoes their chew toy; in a nutshell, you leave the house in a state of rage. You reach your workplace and vent out all that pent up exasperation on a co-worker who has nothing to do with all this.How many times have you done that and how many times have you been on the receiving end of it?

You need to stop finding channels for your daily irks, as doing so negatively affects not only you but also those around you. The person you are inadvertently making the brunt of your rage might not be able to respond because of your higher stature, but this results in you transferring all those dark emotions in another soul and start a vicious cycle. Control your anger and refrain from saying anything that you will regret down the road. Forgive, forget and move on.

4. Be the First One to Embrace Change

Be the change you wish to see in the world”—Mahatma Gandhi

Actions speak louder than words. If you are at the forefront of implementing change in your organization, you should be the first one to embrace it. When others see that you are not imposing your thoughts on others, but are setting the example first, they will be more than willing to follow in your footsteps. If you are only talking about implementing change and your actions do not back it up, change management will not be a bed of roses for you.

5. Extend a Helping Hand

A friend in need is a friend indeed. You might have heard this adage countless times, but what if you help a complete stranger get out of hot waters. They will thank you, but even better, they will remember it for a very long time and respect you for it. You never know when you might get a new friend for a lifetime. Look for opportunities to help others and get in their good books, which will automatically earn you their trust and respect at work.

6. Never Blame Others for Your Actions

If you continue to blame others for your actions and justify your failures every time instead of coming to terms with them, you will never be able to get the respect at work. These two things can rain over your parade and make you tumble down hard. Once you lose respect, it is hard to regain it back. Learn to own up to your actions, and refrain from coming up with excuses every time you mess up. Arnold H Glasow sums it up brilliantly when he says, “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” Ensure transparency and accountability in your organization with the help of free task management tools.

7. Make Politeness Your Friend

You can convey the same message in many ways and each one has a different impact on the listener. Try to be as polite as possible because your tone and demeanor have the prowess to change how people see you. Even if you have to be the bearer of an ominous news, try to keep your tone as inoffensive as possible so as not to hurt the person on the receiving end. Small actions, such as opening doors for your co-workers at a coffee shop, letting them use the vending machine first, or waiting for them at lunch, can go a long way towards strengthening your relationship with others.


By taking baby steps such as helping others, listening to them and keeping your anger in check, you can take big strides towards earning respect at work. People do not remember what you say to them, but they always remember how you said it.  They also remember people who lend out a helping hand when they need it the most. Just being a good person can take you one step closer to earning the respect you deserve. Which tactics do you use to earn the respect at work? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.